Retail’s Growing Requirements

April 6, 2010

Globalization of business means more complexity and retail is a perfect example of this. Given the old adage that retailing is all about having the right product, in the right place at the right time then the science of optimising product ranges at store level and maintaining on-shelf availability is critical and these disciplines were some of the first to be improved with the advent of data warehousing.

Delivering insight for a single country is demanding enough but it is taken to the extreme when the queries required for a huge number of countries all run on the same engine. Look at Metro for instance. Metro operates in 32 countries in Europe, Northern Africa and Eastern Asia, spanning seven time zones. Every single one of its thousands of stores has a unique customer base, from hypermarkets in China to small markets in Paris, and each one needs a tailored assortment to best meet its own customers’ needs.


About three quarters of the goods that Metro sells are supplied by regional producers, which makes sense economically (and ecologically), but which also makes demand chain management more complex. And, just to add another challenge to the list, demand forecasting